As we continue on with our discussion of Inc. Magazine’s excellent 25 Ways to Jump Start Your Business, it’s time to take a look at one of the most misunderstood tools in your marketing arsenal: Twitter.

Everyone has heard of Twitter. Many of you are probably on it. But everyone is still trying to figure out how you can take the precious time that you spend Tweeting, and turn it into cold hard cash.

The cardinal rule of Twitter is that it’s all about two-way communications. If you’re just talking at your followers, you’re doing it wrong. Engage them: consider starting a contest to make them feel like they’re an important part of your business. Ask them to design a logo (with prizes for the one chosen, of course), or even simply ask them for help with a thorny problem. My boss, Lorraine, recently tweeted about a problem that she was having thinking up a name for a company. She got great responses, and actively got her followers engaged.

Twitter can also be a great way to generate leads. A real estate firm in New York City regularly searches for people who tweet about moving to New York, looking for apartments in New York, and so on, and then offer their services. In this way, you can find people who might already be looking for you. Everyone wins.

These are just a few ways that you can use Twitter to expand your business. Remember: be interactive, be interesting, and have fun!